Warm Weather Sparks Air Quality and Beach Hazard Warnings
Today's warm temperatures will be a welcome taste of summer, but also bring along air quality and beach hazard warnings.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has issued an air quality warning, because of ground-level ozone concentrations. Much of the state is expected to reach higher ozone levels, due to a combination of extremely warm temperatures along with very little vegetation growth to absorb ozone. This will mostly affect children, healthy adults who exert themselves, and individuals suffering from respiratory issues like asthma, bronchitis, or COPD. These folks could experience reduced lung function and irritation, causing shortness of breath, coughing, throat irritation, and/or an uncomfortale sensation in the chest.
The conditions could last into Thursday. Anyone at risk for these symptoms is advised to limit their strenuous outdoor activity, especially during the afternoon. Find more information on the Maine DEP website.
Temperatures suddenly in the 80's will send plenty of folks heading to the coast. But the National Weather Service has issued a Beach Hazard Warning, which shouldn't scare folks away from sunning themselves, but does discourage going in the water.
A Beach Hazards Statement is issued on any day when a significant number of boats and paddlecraft are expected to be on the water, and when warm air temperatures may cause people to underestimate the dangerously cold water. NWS officials remind Mainers to paddle smart, always wear a life jacket, and be aware of wind conditions. With today's water temperatures only in the mid to upper 40's, officials say hypothermia would set in, even for a good swimmer, in a matter of minutes. Wet suits are advised for any in-water activity.